The firm said it had been inundated with smokers looking to kick the habit since reopening its full estate of more than 150 stores on April 26. It said it had seen a 165 per cent increase in “new to vaping” kit sales in the first week following the relaxation of lockdown measures.
Bosses said they would be launching a new vape clinic concept to create a network of “smoking cessation coaches” across selected stores within its UK retail footprint.
Company director Doug Mutter said: “VPZ is the UK’s leading vaping specialist and we are spearheading the fight against the nation’s number one killer – smoking.
“We are excited to be launching the vape clinic concept following strong demand and recognising the need for an enhanced level of service since reopening our doors.
“The huge reduction in NHS stop-smoking services, through Covid-19 and local authority cuts have been devastating in the country’s efforts to reduce smoking rates.
“Couple this with the fact that vape stores were deemed unessential has meant that rather than 2020 being the year the country makes massive strides in reducing the number of smokers, we have actually seen an increase and lost huge momentum in the UK’s ambitions to be smoke-free by 2030.”
He added: “We had expected to see a rise in smokers coming forward looking for help and guidance but the scale and demand has been huge.”